Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Civic minded

What is this, some kind of trend? Well, this is a dating blog and I have been dating a lot, so maybe I'll write about it a little. The guy (Marty) I wrote about last time, the one who wants to be my friend...well, I called it. I guess it's an experience thing, but after seeing him on Saturday I just knew his whole line was BS. Or maybe I hadn't really been listening. He is encouraging me to date other guys because he's not available. And he hasn't asked me to wait for him or any nonsense like that. I've also been pretty clear to him that I don't think I like him beyond friends, though we did have fun together. But that inner voice was saying, "he wants to be your boyfriend." That is basically what he would like and yesterday, in our texting, it came out. Not in those words, but so close that it really clicked for me.

There are these guys, I haven't run into one recently, and they see something in me and they kind of get caught up in it. In my...amazing-ness. Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous, but I can tell when someone is seeing me that way, and he definitely was. In a lot of ways we weren't connecting at all. I listened to his stories and pushed him a bit to explain himself, but we also did a lot of talking past each other. I still feel like I have to tread lightly with him. I don't think I'm at much risk of being crushed, but he is, when he figures out that I'm not all that special and definitely not a solution to his problems. To his credit, when I gave him a warning, he seemed to completely get it.

Anyway, last night, I had a date with someone else (Mike). We just started chatting that day and he asked me to meet him and I said, why not? He proposed to come to my house with a bottle of wine, but I put the kibosh on that and we met for a drink. His whole approach was interesting--he asked me what he should see in DC and I assumed he was from out of town. But not at all! He was just curious and open to explore different parts of the city. I like that a lot. He said he wasn't stabby but sure we could meet elsewhere. I said I wasn't scared, it was just common sense. He got on board. He really wanted to watch the caucuses, and, even though I'd rather ignore electoral politics, I agreed. We had a pretty good time watching and talking about the candidates.  Even though I don't care, I had plenty to say! Once or twice I filled in a word he couldn't come up with and he complimented me (!) and made a little joke of it, saying I must be good at scrabble. No, I'm not. And we also had a joke about voter fraud--kids getting fake IDs so they could vote--because people bring their kids to the caucus--and some of the people registering looked so young. I also had a story about Mom taking me to a caucus in Seattle before they switched to a primary system. Somehow that morphed into a jokey conversation about who a civic-minded 10-year-old would vote for and how she would sneak into the caucus. The whole thing was very pleasant and low key, but clever. He walked me home, we stood awkwardly on the sidewalk, chatting, and he gave me a couple of goodbye hugs. I mumbled about wanting to see him again. I texted him (via the dating site) when I got home that I had fun. He asked for my number, which I sent. But he didn't text..I haven't heard from him. I am leaving it alone but it's kind of hard. He was an interesting guy, nice looking, and easy to talk to. I'd like to get a chance to see where it goes.

When I feel this positive about someone, I usually never hear from him again. (Marty doesn't count--he's in some other category.)  If I don't hear from Mike, it won't break my heart, but it would be so great if I did...

Grateful for: a little hope.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Where am I?

Back in the day, I used to read a lot of blogs written by local DC folks and many of them were dating blogs. I still read blogs but most of them are about knitting or bicycles these days. Pretty much all of the DC blogs have closed up shop and all of the dating blogs I followed are done. Maybe there are new dating blogs out there but I haven't sought them out. I wonder if this blog has also died--it's certainly dying of neglect. I still hesitate to officially close or even re-brand because, sad to say--or maybe hope springs eternal?--I am still dating. I've had a couple of near misses with would-be boyfriends. I've rejected many potential suitors and all the ones I had an interest in rejected me. That's ok. I don't really regret any of those near misses. I don't look back over the last 5+ years of dating and think, "that one! If only things had worked out with THAT ONE." If I look further back, yes, there are a handful of men I think I could've had happy long(er) term relationships with. But even of those, there is maybe only one who I could've been with if I'd made different choices. I made those choices for a reason, so while I have some regrets, I know why I did what I did.

I've been dating pretty steadily the last year or so and I started keeping a list. The name, the date,and something memorable about him or the circumstances. Enough to a trigger the memory if I wanted to write it up. It's something I read about someone doing while she was online dating. It hasn't really helped me find Mr. Right but it is good to keep track. I wish I still met people in my day to day life, but online seems to be where it's at. Oh well. Better than nothing? Would it be better if I just went out to bars more often? I dunno.

I had a date on Friday. We went to a movie. We talked a bit before the movie started and he said, "Do you think it's worse to reject someone or to be rejected?" I said, "It's easier to be rejected but it feels better to do the rejecting." He didn't hear the second part of the sentence and said, "I just had to reject someone and I hate it. I hate confrontation." Well, that was enough to for me to think we weren't suited. I haven't heard from him since so he may have drawn the same conclusion--and if he never calls me again, then no one will have to actively reject anyone.

It made me think though, because I hate doing the rejecting. I hate it. But it feels better in the end because you know why you did it. You know why you didn't like him and there is no mystery. When I'm rejected, it's easier because I didn't have to decide--and deciding is a huge burden--but the mystery kills me. I hate not knowing why. What exactly was it about me that he didn't like? My looks? Did I talk too much? Was I judgmental, pretentious, ignorant? What was it? What did I do? Don't you realize that I'm a huge catch? That I'm one of the smartest most interesting people you will ever meet? How can YOU reject ME? Heh. Ok, I don't usually go that far in my inner monologue. But when I kinda like the guy and then I never hear from him again, it will niggle at me for several days. The good news is that I'm really good at letting it go. I accept the silence, I don't ask for an answer, and I move on. I've learned to let it go because the answers are never helpful. It's either really about him or it's something I can't or won't change. It might even be something that I've been trying to change for years...but all I can do is make tiny, tiny advances...and will probably never completely resolve. Learning to be a supervisor, I often say you have to meet people where they are. Same goes for relationships. And if someone doesn't like where I am, then we're both better off going our separate ways.

And, speaking of dating, I had a date with someone else on Saturday. We've been in "negotiations" for a while. He's not really available (trust me), but we have a good companionable text thing going on. We met for coffee a few weeks ago and I thought we were done, but the texting kept going and I got more engaged. We met again yesterday and we had mostly a good time. But...how do I explain? He has made it clear that he wants to be friends and that's where it ends. Fine. But we meet and I know, I know, that he wants to be my boyfriend. I feel it with a kind of certainty but I don't think he realizes it. This guy just needs a hug. He hasn't had a sincere hug for a really long time. Even I am not that bad off. And I don't know how I feel about him. I'm kind of rolling with it because there is something there...something I'm getting from talking to him. But I don't think he can give me what I want, not completely. He can give me a little and I'm taking it but in the long run it won't be good for either of us. I think I will just have to pay attention and make sure I'm not causing either of us real harm. Yeah, I can do that.

Grateful for: good neighbors who did their fair share of snow shoveling.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Colors

A lot has been going on. I went out west for three weeks. With my siblings, step and half, I sorted through my dad's possessions choosing things to keep before they move to "senior housing." Then to Seattle for a week to fight a little with Mom and feel very tired. Took an overnight train from Chicago to CA. Such a great idea and not crazy expensive. Not the vacation I'd hoped for since I pretty much couldn't sleep. The motion wasn't restful. I also worked the two weeks I was visiting parents, which was a mixed bag.

All the men went away, which is more ok than I thought it would be. It's almost a relief. I had contact from someone I haven't seen for about two months, but my need to talk to him a little bit before we met killed it. Good riddance. I'm sure there will be more riduculous entglements in my future, but I can handle a lull. I have things to do. Closets to organize, junk to take to Goodwill. Bikes to ride. Friends to see. Places to visit. Books to read, movies to watch, things to knit. Companionship is nice for some of these things but I'm happy to do most of it on my own. And none of this batch of dudes was really available anyway. Anyway.

At a friend's advice, I got a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute." It's a job search guide. I have an old copy my mom gave me when I was in college or just out. I tried to read it but you have to do all these exercises and I didn't have the patience. And I found jobs. I still have a job, but I still don't like it, and management is a disaster. So...why not go through this book, take some time, do the exercises, and see if it helps me figure out if I should be doing something else? No point just finding another version of this shitty job. I'm also transferring to a different part of the firm so that will help, but I will still manage the nightmare project...sigh. Ok, so one of the exercises is to write seven (SEVEN!) stories. Well, I write, I have this blog, I decided I'd write them here. Just stop here if you're not interested. I don't know if these stories will be interesting. The point is to help figure out your skills. Ok, we know I have skills! Let's see where this goes.

Story #1: Stuck on the rod

Goal: get home from scooter rally

When I was 19, I went with a small group of guys to a scooter rally (Vespas mostly) in Victoria, BC (Canada). We towed our scooters up there because, even from Seattle, that's too much freeway riding for old scooters. Mine was a 1963 model and I'd never done anything but ride it around town. Never on the freeway because its max speed was 50mph. While on the rally, it developed several problems, the key one being that the bolts holding the fly wheel started to shear off while we traveled at high speeds. Scary and very loud! I had to ride pretty slow the rest of the time and stop periodically to tighten the two (of four) remaining bolts. I had a wrench with me and did this periodically. At slow speeds, I was fine. To get to Victoria, you take a ferry from Vancouver. The stretch of road after the ferry is where my problem developed. The rest of the time in Victoria was fine. On the way back, I start to have the same problem, and had to stop at lot. Apparently the more senior guy, Victor, in our group (4 dudes and me) had assigned one guy, Jerry, to stay behind me and stop when I stopped. I didn't like Jerry and Victor neglected to tell me their plan. Maybe they didn't want to hurt my feelings? Anyway, I pulled over to tighten the bolts. Jerry slowed down, I waved him on, and he went on. I tightened the bolts, then I straddled the scooter and pushed forward to get it off its kickstand. It wouldn't move. I couldn't figure out wht going on so I got off and turns out, my rear tire was flat. Now, over the weekend, I'd watched someone fix a flat. These were like bicycle tires and had inner tubes. I knew what I needed to do was get the tire off the wheel and patch the tube. I sat there, assuming more scooter people were behind me and someone would stop and help. After mabye 15-20 minuties, I realized my assumption was wrong. I was the last rider and no one was coming. And, obviously, they hadn't noticed I was missing. So, I sat there on the side of the road, pulled out my adjustable cresent wrench...and it was too small to fit the wheel lugs. Around then, some bicyclists rode up and they stopped to see what was wrong. One of them suggested I take the tire off and bring it to the gas station across the road. We tried my wrench--too small. He pulled one out--it was much bigger and it worked. And random bicycle dude took my wheel off for me. He then suggested we trade wrenches and even said mine was better for him anyway--more suited to bikes! They rode off.

I took the wheel and crossed the highway to the gas station. Unfortunately, the garage part was closed becuase it was CANADA DAY. What the hell? I tried to talk them into letting me into the garage to access their tools and a tire patch. They wouldn't budge. I don't think they offered to call a tow truck, though that would've been the obvious solution. I went back across the road to the scooter and sat down. I imagined a lot of things. Hitchhiking somewhere with the tire, perhaps. That my "friends" had completely forgotten me. That I had to figure out how to get home somehow. That I had my mom's credit card and if I could just get off Vancouver Island, I could find a way to get home. I had a beer with me and I drank it.

I took a look around and noticed there were some houses just off the main road. That's when I decided I would go knock on someone's door and ask to use their phone...to call a tow truck, I guess. I'm not sure I had a plan.

I went to the nearest house and knocked. I can't remember if I was carrying the wheel...that might've been a little later. A middle aged guy answered the door. He was on the phone--and he said, "I have to go. I have a lady in distress here." He invited me in and I explained what had happened. He said he coud help me and his neighbor had a motorcycle and maybe could fix the tire. I think that's when we went back to the scooter and got the wheel. I carried the wheel to the neighbor's garage. We rummaged around a bit but coudn't find the right tools to take off the tire. We went back to the house and he offered to drive me to a different garage he thought would be open.

We got in the car--which was fancy. A BMW perhaps? I held the wheel in my lap and he used his car phone (car phone--fancy!) to try and call the ferry to see if my friends were there. Maybe to try and hold the boat? We got to garage, which was open, and in less than 15 minutes, they fixed the tire (by patching the tube) and charged me $6 dollars (Canadian--even less back then). The kind stranger drove me back to the scooter and put the wheel back on for me. He then apologized a bunch for having to go and not being able to make sure I got to the ferry. During the car ride he'd told me he'd had a Vespa when he was younger. Of course he had! I was so grateful but don't think I thanked him adequately.

I rode the scooter very slowly to the ferry. I got on the ferry and finally relaxed. I bought a snack and a trashy novel and tried to distract myself. I was still trying to figure out what I would do when I got to the other side. I guess I would've called my mother and figured out how to get back to Seattle. When I was getting off the ferry, I noticed Jerry in the line to get back on the ferry. I was flooded with relief. They hadn't forgotten me! He peeled off and we sat in the waiting area for Victor and the other guys to come with the trailer.

Jerry said he was going to find me no matter what it took. I didn't have much to say to him. I found out later, riding back with Victor, about how Jerry was supposed to stick with me and make sure I didn't get left behind. When they had all boarded the ferry, someone said they saw me--my scooter was bright yellow. When they realized I wasn't on board, they tried to get off, but they weren't allowed. They were really angry at Jerry and worried about me.

What did I learn? There is always a solution to a problem. Come up with a contingency plan. Don't refuse help.

Grateful for: surviving youthful misadventures.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Overload

The last couple of weeks have been a bit overwhelming. I was in Alabama for work less than a week after I came back from my eventful NY visit. I had a couple of days downtime. Worked from home on a Friday. Cleaned the house the best I could over the weekend. Went to a party on Saturday afternoon that lasted into the night. Recovered and cleaned some more on Sunday. Then to Alabama--the last state I had left on my list. That's right--I've officially been to all 50 states now--meaning at a minimum I ate a meal there, though usually it also means I spent the night. Back from AL, I went the next day to a wedding. I drove there--it was only 1.5 hours away. Spent the night. Drove back and went straight to the company picnic. Then home to our 2nd annual block party. I was so tired!

The next day both Spesh and my eldest brother (B1) arrived for visits. I had space and they said it was ok. Other than sleeping in the same room, they didn't interact much. B1 was busy doing work things and seeing friends other than me. Doubt I would've been included in more even if Spesh weren't around, so perhaps the timing was fortuitous.

That meant that every night--Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday--was a social event. In the mean time, some texting with the guy from NY. Sporadic because he's in a kind of hell while his 20-something sibling slowly and painfully departs this world. Then also texting with a guy I met 2 years ago. We had one bizarre but not terrible date. He sent me a naked pic and I cut him off. I never blocked his number, though. He texted me on Saturday and didn't know who I was at first, but he remembered me. He was not quite as frantic as I remembered. He played nice and we ended up getting together on Thursday--the day after everyone went home. Well, Spesh went to another friend. Same friend who he stayed one night with on his last visit. And it pissed me off to no end that time. This time, I still didn't like it, but at least I was mentally prepared. I met them all for dinner Wednesday and then went off to a mixer for a dating site and it was pretty terrible.

On Thursday, I could barely move. I was just wrung out. But work was also non-stop. I worked from home. And in the late afternoon, I met Simon. I'm not really sure what I was thinking but I don't regret seeing him. We had a good time and the date ended early enough that I still got a good night's sleep.

I worked from home again on Friday. I had a headache but also the thought of going to the office made me clench my jaw and introduce a whole other kind of pain. I made some coffee, took all my calls, answered all my emails, and even did some of my report editing. That damn report will be the death of me. I don't even know how many hours I've spent on it by now. The whole thing is absurd.

Simon did text me the next day, like he said he would. I gave him the chance to show me. But I don't even know what I think about him. He's interesting. He is probably not boyfriend material. But neither is the guy in NY, who doesn't even really live in NY. And Spesh already has a new girlfriend because of course he does. It was good to see him. I ribbed him a little but we didn't fight. He said he was missing the intellectual stimulation of having me (and another old friend, Will) around. That was nice. I actually miss that too. I don't think I get the kind that interaction with any of my other friends...though my life doesn't feel like a vapid unstimulating wasteland. It feels spotted with good friends I don't see enough and a variety of new friends and activities that keep me jumping. I want things I don't have, but the things I have are good. I'm not lonely. Even if I miss Spesh, Seattle friends, and random men who I will never see again.

Grateful for: a full social life.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Special

I'm sitting in the coffee shop, per usual. When am I ever writing to you from anywhere else? It's Sunday. I am trying and failing to do work. Like, completely failing. I was out last night. I drank a lot. My head is fuzzy. I don't have a headache but I also have no focus. I'm also a little sad. I met someone last week...no, earlier this week...who I really like. I just feel done. Like, if I could actually meet this person and if there were anyway it would work out to be with him, I'd be happy. But it's not like that. It can't be like that. I was in New York for work. I met him online. He was there because his sibling is very ill. We decided to have a drink--he needed the distraction and I was like, what the heck. I was working the next day, but in a support role. I figured I wouldn't stay out that late. I was planning to have a drink with him. I'd gotten the idea that he had a girlfriend back home (he's American but lives in Europe) so I didn't have anything else in mind. (I'm not 100% sure he doesn't have a gf, but I didn't ask--I don't think so, though.) Anyway, we met for a drink around 10pm. We talked. I talked. He smoked. He ordered an undrinkable drink and he wouldn't send it back. When the waiter came to check on us, I said the drink was undrinkable and we got a new one. I think he was relieved. We only had that one drink. Then took a walk, far north into even further north Harlem. I realized I couldn't walk back to my hotel alone. So, he walked back with me. The hotel had a sort of sunken courtyard in front of theentrance and we sat there and he smoked and we talked. And I told him the plot...the entire plot...of an incredibly stupid movie I'd watched part of earlier that day. And I tried to decide if I'd invite him up but by then, I think I had decided. The idea was that we would watch a stupid movie. We lay back on the king sized bed, each in our separate spaces and watched a really stupid movie. I did most of the heckling. We didn't touch for a long time. And then I had my head on his shoulder and he had his arm around me and it felt just right, like I could stay there a long time.

This seems like just the beginning. We were up late, late, but he fell asleep around 5:30. I don't think I slept. He snored and made other strange noises. I had to get up around 7:00 for work, so I woke him up. I was late, I was so tired. After we left the hotel, he walked to me to the main street so I could catch a cab. And I helped him find the subway so he could visit his sister. And I was having a hard time keeping my balance and he held my hand. We stood on that corner saying goodbye, hugging and kissing, until I broke away to get in my cab.

We have been in touch by email/text since then. A little a day, not a constant barage. But that was Tuesday and this is Sunday and it's not very long. And he doesn't live here and he's very, very sad. And I'm sad. I know he's kind of a messy person in general, not just becuase of his current family catastrophe. I figure there's no future and I'm not hopeful about it or sad about it. Except I am sad about it and I wish I would see him again. I said he could come visit, but I don't think he will though he asked how long the train ride was. I just...it's just not about that. I was already shutting things down. A few days before I met him--let's call him JT--I turned off the dating site I've been usuing. Too many junk messages were coming my way and I coudn't deal. I can turn it back on, but for now, it's quiet. I met JT on an app, and I wrote to him first. Expecting nothing because guys don't usually answer. But after Tuesday, I checked back in one more time to change my status to take out the mention of being in NY and then I turned it off too. So, I'm not online in those venues.

So regardless of what happens with JT, I am on a break. I could feel it coming for a while. The dating was starting to feel overwhelming. Work feels overwhelming. I am tired. I am dissatisfied. I need a vacation. I want to quit. I want to work on the paper I wrote a million years ago that is getting cited even though it's unpublished. I want to write again but I don't know what about. I don't know how to find the time to let myself just think. Just settle. I am taking a vacation starting in late October. The first part is a long train ride to the west coast (flying to Chicago and starting from there) and I'm really looking forward to it. Things are very busy for the next two weeks but I need to find some little quite spot in these weeks or I think I may lose it--I may get angry at someone who doesn't deserve it. I may lash out and I don't want to do that. I want to be my kind, calm, generous, happy ideal self. Or at least be reserved enough to keep my bad shit to myself.

Oh I am so tired.

Grateful for: oh you know.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Dating

Right, so is this still a dating blog? I can't figure out if things are great or terrible at the moment. I have such a strange feeling--it's like I'm on the edge of something.

First, work. No news from that great made-for-me in Seattle job. Starting to think I won't get the offer. I'm a little disappointed but it's ok. I haven't done all the other thinking and pushing needed to find other Seattle-based offers. Did I lose steam? I suppose. But I'm not giving up the idea entirely. I also asked for what I wanted at my new job--a clarification of my role in the organization and a transfer to the group that does work in my subject area. And they said yes. All I had to do was email the CEO, two VPs, and a director. Literally the same day I made my specific requests, I was called into a meeting with the CEO, one VP, and two directors. We discussed my project, my role, and my placement--and they said yes. Such a weird feeling. I will keep managing my horrible project but I will get more support. I won't do new work in this current group. It's SO different than at the old job where I spent 2 years trying to get them to accommodate me and never once was successful. This is a good thing about the new place. Yet, I don't really want to stay here. Sigh.

Second, dating. The Labor Day weekend was something of a dating spectacular. I don't think I've ever in the history of the blog--or in my life--had so many dates in such a short span of time. I met all of the guys online. They had a pretty narrow age span (30-35), but one 41-year-old outlier. All seemed like decent people. Two were explicitly looking for something more like an "arrangement" than a steady relationship, but all were open to the possibility. The run down:

D1: met him Friday, late afternoon. We'd chatted a bit over the week prior to the meeting. He did what I would call "long form" texting. Much longer texts than the average person, full of personal information. I actually had a pretty good sense of what he was like before we met. We were originally supposed to meet on Monday, but he cancelled, so I was pre-annoyed. But he kept our Friday date to the minute and I got over myself. We had a good time. I talked a lot and he laughed at my funny stories. He's good looking, 35, and not available for regular dating (we had a long text-chat about what he is available for). I liked him fine and after our date I let him know I'd be happy to see him again. He responded similarly but I haven't heard from him since. I am fine either way. I don't intend to contact him again.

D2: met him later on Friday. That's right--1 day, 2 dates! This was a quick meeting because he works a swing shift and we met on his "lunch" break. He was even younger (31), said in his profile he wasn't looking for something serious--but everything about him screamed serious to me. The "I want to be your boyfriend" vibe was almost palpable. But...but...I didn't want to be his girlfriend. Lots of reasons--mostly I didn't feel a strong connection and I didn't find him attractive. He was ok and sweet in a way, just not for me. I told him today I wasn't interested and he was so gracious about it--wished me luck and told me I was exactly his physical type. Kind of too bad I wasn't into him.

D3: met him on Saturday evening. We started talking Saturday morning and had a very interesting email exchange. Then he asked what I was up to in the afternoon. I was just puttering around getting the house ready for a cook-out on Sunday, so I said "nothing," and we made plans. Our plans got shifted to the evening after I exhausted myself weeding (because I'd been sick and near-sedentary for a week). Anyway, we had a bite to eat, a little walk, and a decent conversation. No connection--thus I'm not surprised I haven't heard from him. Too bad--he was the 41-year-old.

D4: we met on Monday morning (Labor Day!) for coffee. I was pretty knocked out due to the amount of sangria I drank during my cookout, but I wasn't going to cancel. We'd had a pretty light-weight email exchange going for a week or so. No great hopes and also he was young (30). The meeting was ok...he asked a lot of questions and I got going...and at one point he said, "Do you wan to ask me anything? You've said most of the words...but I did ask..." Huh, nice way of saying I talk to much? I didn't care, but then I steered the conversation back to him and he said plenty. He also thinks Forrest Gump is a good movie. I don't think we're a match. I also haven't heard from him again and probably won't.

And that isn't all...three weeks ago, I met a guy for a pre-work coffee at Union Station. He was just passing through from New Zealand. We'd had a great and funny chat and I really wanted to meet him. Our coffee date was short...but I definitely liked him and would've seen him again under other circumstances.  After our date, I felt a little melancholy. So odd. We kept up a regular text-chat while he was still roaming around America. Since he got back to NZ, we've had an occasional chat via FB. Right--we are FB friends. I also had his email and full name within maybe an hour of meeting him online. Those Kiwis are really guileless. I think it must be from coming from such a small place...or an island? I don't know. But the folks from the big cities and the small towns (at least the half dozen more or less who I've met) all have this quality. Anyway, early on he gave me his email because I said I might like to visit NZ. And we've talked about it since, in a sort of roundabout way. I started checking airfares yesterday. Would I really go to NZ in a month because I met this random person online? I have wanted to go for quite a while (you'll remember why). I wouldn't be going to visit him, new guy, exactly. But I suppose I would stay with him at least some of the time...and who knows what would happen. Would it be any crazier than everything else I'm contemplating? Certainly less permanent...

And that's not even all. There is someone else I've corresponded with for over a month who I've gotten attached to in an abstract way. I'll say more about him if we ever meet.

And then, today, I struck up a conversation with a guy who seems great--interesting, smart, well-traveled--we will try and meet next week. Neither of us has time before I head to NJ to visit family this weekend. In as much as any of these guys have potential, he does. What the what?

I'm exhausted.

Grateful for: so many dates.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chicago

When was I here last? Over two years ago, for a meeting, for the old job. I came to the same coffee shop where I'm sitting now...or maybe that was the trip before, for the first in that series of two (?) meetings. I love Chicago. It's beautiful--the architecture is beautiful. I won't really go beyond the Loop on this visit, but that's ok. I'm at a conference--my professionl association conference--and I'm enjoying it. I'm foretting my stupid job. I'm under strict orders not to think about work and not to do any work. And I'm not. Screw it. I am hoping against hope...am I hoping? I think I'm hoping...that I get the offer of the job in Seattle. The interview was on Tuesday, not even a week ago, so I don't expect to hear anything yet. I'm such a perfect candidate, it's kind of absurd.

Here, at the conference, I've told a couple of people that I'm looking around for something new. The first person gave me her card and said to get in touch. The other, an old but not close grad school friend, said she'd keep her ears open for me. That sounds vague but from her, not really. Mom was right, I had to be here at this conference, keeping those connections alive, making new ones, putting the word out. If I do nothing else, that's enough.

I will do something else, though. It's Sunday and I'm going to some sessions this morning. This afternoon, I've decided to rent one of the shared bikes and take a ride by the lake. Tonight, I'm going to an informal reception. Tomorrow, Monday, which I'm hoping won't be crowded, I will visit the Art Institute. I'll take in a session and go home.

This is my kind of silly vacation filled with thinking and early mornings--but free of work. It's ok. I'm doing ok.

Grateful for: a break

Monday, August 03, 2015

What happened?

Where did I go? Typical. I am not sure about anything these days. The new job? It's going. It's frustrating and I'm kind of burned out on it. It's too much work for not enough reward. And I don't mean financial reward. The financial aspect is great--it's more than enough. But the emotional reward is almost negative. It's a totally different kind of problem than at the old job. Mostly, I'm on a united team here. I like almost everyone I work with. We're a good group and doing a mostly good job. It's not perfect but it's not merely functional either.  However, we're not the best team for the job and that's obvious to everyone involved, especially our client.

See...I could go on. Why does my whole life revolve around work that I don't even care very much about? Something is going on around here that has all my internal alarm bells ringing and I've started looking in earnest for different work. I'm staying in the same field (or trying to go back to my old field) but I have to get out. With my mother's help, I've expanded my search to Seattle. This mostly fills me with terror. I have missed Seattle all these years and I would love to go back. My visits don't always go well but that has nothing to do with the town (and everything to do with...my mother). It would be so incredibly hard to leave behind the little slice of life I've carved out for myself in DC. I love my neighborhood, my apartment, my (few) friends. Life is good here...mostly. Well, it's known here. And I even though I have a couple of carefully preserved contacts in Seattle, in many--most?--ways it would be like starting over. Yet, I spent a bit of time looking at apartment listings on the internet...and I am working very hard on an application for a job that sounds like it was made for me.  I need to do more though...I need to call people that Mom sent my way. I need to send out my CV. I need to work harder.

I woke up this morning feeling heavy and with a headache. I fixed the headache but the heavy, slightly disoriented feeling never left. I'm feeling...dissatisfied...uneasy...not quite myself. I'm worried and I'm not even sure about what. I have so much time left and I have no plan. I just need something else, something different, something new?

Grateful for: an inkling of a plan.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Can you see the real me?

I was almost going to put this story on FB, but then I remembered I had this blog.

Last night I had a dream. In the dream my cousin Molly offered me some pot (this would never happen--also she lives on the West Coast). She seemed really surprised that I accepted her offer. I said or thought, what do people think of me? Or what impression do I make on people?

Someone (my cousin?) said, the impression they have is worried/scared/something [exact words escape me] of you. That's how Anne feels.

Then it shifted to Anne, who is an old college friend. Anne said she was apprehensive of me. Why? Because her boyfriend Joe told her I flirted with him.

Back to non-dream life. This is an old mystery in my life. Anne is someone I really liked and respected in college. I always wanted to be closer friends with her but it didn't happen. Then she started dating a guy named Joe who had previously dated Anne's best friend, Tracey (yes, I know). Before Joe dated Tracey he flirted with me a lot and I thought he was interested in dating me. I was ambivalent about Joe and it never happened. Anyway, when he was dating Tracey, he still flirted with me a lot and gave me the occasional unsolicited back rub (shudder). One time I told him that Tracey was my friend and he had stop flirting with me. Joe never spoke to me again.

Several years later, after he'd been with Anne for a while and I'd moved away for grad school...I was back in Seattle for winter break. I was hanging out with my friend Mike and we were planning to spend New Year's Eve together, as was our habit. Mike mentioned that he'd run into Anne and she'd said something odd. First, she invited him to a NYE party. Then she asked if Mike were planning to spend the evening with me...he said yes...and Anne said he couldn't bring me to the party. Mike declined the invitation.

Then I told Mike the whole story--about the flirting and the silent treatment from Joe--and Mike said that Joe was a creep and of course he'd spend NYE with me.

It's not something I think about very often, but I'm one degree removed FB friends with Anne and feel like I can't or shouldn't friend her. What did Joe say to her to make her cut me off?

In the dream, it was clear as day--Joe told Anne that I flirted with him! Of course. But...why would Anne believe him, when she'd known me much longer and I never flirted with other people's boyfriends? Well, blame cognitive dissonance. I'd always expected more of Anne, but she is only human and she wanted to keep her boyfriend Still, it hurts a little to be seen in a suspicious light...even if it was a million years ago.

So why would I have such a symbol rich dream? Before bed I was listening to a podcast from the BBC Drama of the Week--and it was about Freud! In the play he interpreted several highly symbolic dreams. Naturally, I had one that night.

Grateful for: dreams.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Free weekend

I'm not working this weekend. I could. There's more to do. The report that won't die still needs editing. I'm at the hard part now where I have to add new, meaningful, discussion sections. I hit a wall at that point. Asked for help. And the help came in the form of, "you need to say more here about this and what it means." Gee, thanks. I had a call about it on Friday with my "helpers" and one point I found myself laughing and realized I could've easily started crying. I'm not sure I've ever been quite there before. Enough. Enough already with this stupid report and this stupid job that requires me to care about things I never will. This weekend, no work, just nothing. I was supposed to go on a long bike ride but instead, I slept in and read for escape. I started knitting the sweater-vest for my youngest Israeli niece. I had to rip out a lot I'd done and start over. I had to make calculations for the size. That's "work" but it's fun and tangible.

On Friday, I had a funny experience. I was getting a sandwich and waiting with a lot of other people. I was standing next to a pretty cute guy. Then Pele walked in--we work right across the street from each other, after all. We chatted a bit and then she ordered. While she was in line for that, I struck up a conversation with the guy--"that's my best friend and we work so close but we can never find a time for lunch--and then here she is!" (In fact, just the day before Pele had emailed me about getting together.) He shared some similar experiences. I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring. Pele finshed ordering and I noticed that she waited before coming back over to talk to me. I nodded her back in. I mouthed "married." We talked and when he left she said, "I was going to let you talk to that really cute guy!" This brought me back to our party days and...one party in particular, where I waved her away when I was talking to a cute guy...who I didn't know was marriend. Those were the days? Wing woman in action.

Anyway, I'm having a coffee in my new favorite coffee shop. Going to read a bit and then meet JenA who is coming down from Baltimore for a local bike swap. Should be a good day.

View from the back of the coffee shop
A scarf for a niece. Finshed it a while ago, just got around to blocking.

Grateful for: friends who have my back.